Ossus Library Index Star Wars Timeline




A novel by Jude Watson (2004, Scholastic Paperbacks)
Jedi Quest, Book 10
23 years before and Star Wars: A New Hope

Anakin and Obi-Wan track their enemy to an ancient Sith stronghold, but Anakin is more concerned with out-performing his fellow Padawans.





Read July 18th to 21st, 2013 in paperback  
    I didn't like Anakin at all in this book, which I think was the point. I suppose it is consistent with the whiny kid we see in Attack of the Clones. I felt like the book was trying to suddenly set up Anakin's feelings in that movie that his mentor was holding him back, when they had just achieved a good relationship in the previous books. After all, Obi-Wan did say in Return of the Jedi that Anakin was "a good friend". It is set on the planet Korriban, original home of the Sith, but that is already an overused location, and I can always do without the Sith magic. Aside from too many loose ends, the novel was well written and had good pacing, so despite these faults, it gave a lot of good action and kept us turning the pages.

Full spoiler review:

Although this book offers the same sort of adventure seen in the other nine books of this series, and most people will probably enjoy it, I felt that it was not a satisfying conclusion. I feel like the author tried to be too clever, integrating yet another reference to the Sith that everybody knows is out there, but nobody knows the identity of. Does the author really expect us to believe Palpatine would reveal his identity to Grant Omega? I think that would be stupid of him, given how much of a vain braggart Omega is.

Four Jedi teams are sent to Korriban, which is where Omega was last seen. Apparently the Commerce Guild has set up a base of operations there -why? But that doesn't really matter, because the Jedi contact who works for the Commerce Guild betrays them at the first sign of trouble, then we never hear from the contact or the Guild again in this story. He does tell them enough to find a contact in the black market, which is where they assume Omega would go, too.

But the Commerce Guild security seems to want to tame the planet, even with all that Sith magic roaming around, so they attack her. The four Jedi teams fight their way out, and find a Sith cruiser, which is presumably where Palpatine landed -lucky for them! The only Jedi of interest other than Obi-Wan and Anakin are Tru Veld, who gets more wimpy here, and Ferus. Tru goes to Anakin for a lightsaber tune-up early in the book, then goes to Ferus later. Anakin does a good job, while Ferus does an incomplete one, for techno-babble reasons.

The title of the book can hardly be meant to apply to the showdown between Obi-Wan and Grant Omega, which is relatively easy, even though they had to go through undead Sith soldiers and battle-droids. More important here is the showdown between Anakin and Ferus. They even bet on who will take Omega down. That is one of the loose ends -we don't know what they bet, and since Obi-Wan cut Omega down, neither won, anyway. It barely ties into the plot because there are no consequences -though I suppose it does tear Anakin and Tru's friendship farther apart.

Strangely enough, even though I agree with the Jedi Council and Obi-Wan that Anakin is not ready to become a Knight, in a way, he is more ready than anybody. Yoda's Jedi are told not to form attachments, and we can only assume he means friends, too. So as the Council indirectly demands, Anakin puts the mission first in his mind, even if it's in order to win personal glory. The others abandon the mission when one of their own is hurt, tending to the hurt one first. And yet that is what makes Anakin more Sith-like than the others. Yes, he made the correct assessment that the Padawans could hold off the droids, so he went off in search of Omega. But he had just bet Ferus that he would be the one to find Omega, so that makes his judgment suspect.

Later, in the Valley of the Sith, Tru's lightsaber fails -because Anakin didn't tell him he saw Ferus make a mistake, because he was selfish in his jealousy that Tru went to Ferus for help instead of Anakin. Anakin falls under some sort of energy net trap and can't get out, until he is able to sort through his feelings, wondering why he did what he did. He comes to the right conclusion, to some extent, which strengthens his hold on the Light Side of the Force, and is able to get free, but not before Omega is killed, the Sith leaves, and Jenna Zan Arbor escapes, too. One of the Padawans is killed, and the other Padawans believe it's because of Tru's failed lightsaber.

Making matters worse for Anakin is the idea the Jedi Council has of advancing Padawans more quickly than usual, and they choose Ferus to be the first. This of course drives Anakin to anger, but his reaction shows how their decision was the right one. By the end, with Ferus having covered up fixing Tru's lightsaber, and Tru not reporting this to his master, the Council decides to withdraw the decision. But by then, it's too late. Ferus feels so bad that he resigns from the Jedi Order.

How is this even possible? If the Jedi felt bad for every mistake or every death they caused, and then resigned, there wouldn't be any left! Part of being a Jedi is learning from the mistakes, especially as a Padawan. The Council should have refused and set him on a path to be a better Jedi. It's different from Ahsoka's departure in the Clone Wars, when the Council made a stupid decision to abandon her and allow the Senate to take control of her hearing. She had every reason not to trust the Council after that -but they still should have insisted she stay. In Attack of the Clones, the library hosts twenty busts of the Lost Ones, the Jedi who left the order, including Dooku. I guess that doesn't include Padawans.

This book was more of an introduction to Revenge of the Sith, not Attack of the Clones, which it is supposed to precede. Even though I had many problems with the plot, the story was well-paced, and as usual, well written. For somebody who just wants to read an adventure, this young adult novel, like the series in general, will not disappoint.


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